Two different paths for Rangers’ Nils Lundkvist, Vitali Kravtsov

When the Rangers formally begin coaching camp subsequent Thursday, one notable participant is predicted to be lacking and one almost-forgotten participant will return to the scene.

President and basic supervisor Chris Drury continues to be unsure concerning the scenario relating to 22-year-old defenseman Nils Lundkvist, who The Publish’s Larry Brooks reported doesn’t intend to come back to coaching camp and is hoping to discover a top-four position with one other NHL membership through commerce.

“I don’t actually have any replace on it,” Drury mentioned Thursday at MSG Coaching Middle in Tarrytown. “Clearly, we predict he’s an actual good participant. We drafted him. We’ve labored with him the final variety of years. … We actually hope he’s right here subsequent week. … I don’t have a definitive reply as to what his plans are proper now.”

Lundkvist’s 25-game cameo with the Rangers final season didn’t stay as much as the hype surrounding the 2021 Salming Trophy winner — awarded yearly to the perfect Swedish-born defenseman. It was the right-handed defenseman’s first season in North America and the adjustment interval was longer than anticipated. After posting only one objective and three assists, Lundkvist was shortly leapfrogged by Braden Schneider.

Nils Lundkvist
N.Y. Publish: Charles Wenzelberg; Getty Photos

The expectation is that Lundkvist, who the Rangers drafted twenty eighth total in 2018, can be traded, however Drury wouldn’t verify whether or not he has formally requested out.

Alternatively, Vitali Kravtsov seemingly has a clear slate coming into coaching camp after the Russian winger refused an AHL task final season and fled residence. What as soon as was seen as an irreparable relationship is now trying like a mutually helpful scenario for either side. The Rangers want Kravtsov, his $875,000 cap hit and offensive upside, whereas Kravtsov must show he’s an NHL-caliber winger on a playoff-contending crew just like the Rangers.

“I believe he’s on a terrific observe,” Drury mentioned of Kravtsov, who scored seven objectives and dished three assists in 15 playoff video games for the Kontinental Hockey League’s Chelyabinsk Traktor. “He selected voluntarily to come back right here very early in the summertime. … In order that was clearly a terrific signal that he selected to try this. Come right here, he’s had a terrific summer time coaching, skating. He seems to be good. We’re excited to see what he has.“Simply from what we’ve seen up to now, peeking out my window at practices, he seems to be actually good and we’re excited he’s right here.”

Kravtsov, drafted by the Rangers with the No. 9-overall choose in 2018, will definitely be competing in opposition to fellow kids Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko for the spots on the wings within the high 9. Contemplating Lafreniere has hung out on the highest unit and Kakko has gotten acquainted with the fitting wing of the second line, Kravtsov might fall to the third line relying on how camp unfolds.

“No, under no circumstances,” Drury mentioned when requested if Kravtsov has two strikes in opposition to him. “As soon as we loaned him and obtained him to the KHL final 12 months, there was by no means any situation. Definitely excited with how he went over there and performed. … We’re pleased with the way in which he performed, the way in which he dealt with himself over there.

“He’s achieved the whole lot proper by coming right here early. And I’m excited to see what he has when issues begin.”

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